Chemical peels are at the top of my list of favorite skin treatments. They are quick treatments that produce amazing results fast. They provide a deep exfoliation and speed up the cell turnover rate. Peels have so many great benefits. They can treat acne, hyperpigmentation, reduce acne scars, and treat fine lines and wrinkles. Chemical peels vary in strength and active ingredients so even someone with sensitive skin can use chemical peels.
There are three levels of chemical peels: light, medium, and deep. The pH level of a peel is what determines how deep it will penetrate into the skin. The lower the pH, the deeper the peel; the higher the pH, the lighter the peel.
Light peels only remove the first layer of the skin and they are good for treating mild acne scars, fine lines, sun damage, or if you have sensitive skin. Light peels are typically made with AHAs, BHAs, and fruit enzymes. Almost no recovery time is required.
Medium peels are usually made with trichloroacetic acid. They can be used to treat pigmentation and wrinkles. Recovery time is about a week.
Deep peels are usually made with carbolic acid and higher doses of trichloroacetic acid. They are good for treating scarring, pigmentation, wrinkles, and sun damage but on a much deeper level. Recovery time can take months.
Peels are best for light-skinned people who are not prone to hyperpigmentation. If you have darker skin and are prone to hyperpigmentation and do decide to get a chemical peel anyway, just be sure to use a lightening cream for post-treatment care and always wear sunscreen when going out. Some lightening ingredients to look for are hydroquinone, kojic acid, glutathione, mulberry, and papaya, to name a few.
Consult with your esthetician or a dermatologist to determine which peels are best for your skin.